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Rangers’ Nathan Gets Unexpected Save

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16:  American League All-Stars Joe Nathan #36 of the Texas Rangers and Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals celerbrate after defeating the National League All-Stars to win the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

American League All-Stars Joe Nathan and Nelson Cruz of the Rangers celebrate after defeating the National League All-Stars. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Joe Nathan is no slouch, having converted 30 of 31 save opportunities this season. But having the opportunity to close out the All-Star Game was an unexpected surprise

The Texas Rangers closer was called upon to finish off the American League’s 3-0 win Tuesday night in the All-Star game at Citi Field after Mariano Rivera came on for the eighth inning.

“I didn’t know I was coming in to close until I was actually coming in from the bullpen,” Nathan said.

No slouch of a stopper himself, Nathan has 328 saves for Minnesota, Texas and San Francisco in a 13-year career. He has 30 this season — the same as Mo.

But everyone in the bullpen was ready to defer to Rivera on this night.

The six-time All-Star struck out Matt Carpenter looking and Andrew McCutchen swinging before Paul Goldschmidt doubled. Nathan then retired fellow New York native Pedro Alvarez on a popup to second base.

After the final out, Nathan got the game ball but he knew it didn’t belong to him. He gave it to Mo.

“No brainer. I wanted it, but I wanted to give it to him more,” Nathan said. “Outstanding to be able to hand the ball over to him that I saved with him the in bullpen was pretty cool. No secret how much I look up to him and be able to do that for him was awesome.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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